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Planning Commission Approves Building Plans for Duquesne University School of Osteopathy

Duquesne University will move forward with plans for a new medical school after the Pittsburgh Planning Commission on Tuesday approved the school’s plans for a new building to house its College of Osteopathic Medicine.

The five-story structure will replace the old Life Works building being demolished at Forbes Avenue and Magee Street in the city’s Uptown neighborhood.

When Duquesne University unveiled plans for the school in 2019, university officials said they hoped to see an enrollment of around 600 students once the school is fully established. Osteopathic medicine is a practice that focuses on preventive care that treats the whole body, rather than a specific disease.

Duquesne University, a Catholic college, strives to fulfill its religious mission by serving its students and guiding them to serve others, said Rod Dobish, the university’s facilities director.

“We think this college of osteopathic medicine fits perfectly into that,” he said, adding that the covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for more doctors.

The 88-foot-tall building will include a pedestrian plaza with bicycle parking, as well as improved crosswalks and planted trees along Forbes Avenue. Its design will also accommodate the Bus Rapid Transit line, which will add dedicated bus lanes and a bike path to Forbes Avenue.

University officials detailed their plans for the Planning Commission earlier this month.

University officials said they worked with several community organizations to develop their plans for the school. The project will be part of the neighborhood’s EcoInnovation district, which aims to address environmental and sustainability issues through development.

Planning Commission members Christine Mondor, Lashawn Burton Faulk, Dina Blackwell, Jean Holland Dick and Becky Mingo voted in favor of the measure, while Fred Brown and Rachel O’Neill abstained. Commissioners Sabina Deitrick and Jennifer Askey were not present.

Julia Felton is editor of Tribune-Review. You can contact Julia at 724-226-7724, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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